Implementing a Well-Designed Safety Program
March 27, 2009
This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is designing a safety program for grounds care.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, mandates that grounds managers eliminate or reduce job-site hazards by implementing engineering and administrative controls. Unfortunately, many hazards remain in the workplace and require the use of PPE, or personal protective equipment.
Workers often use PPE to protect eyes, hands, feet, faces, torsos, respiratory systems, and hearing. The equipment also includes fall-restraint devices and special clothing.
OSHA requires employers to evaluate worker tasks to determine PPE needs. Once an employer identifies a need, OSHA requires a written program defining the following: when PPE is necessary; proper use and fitting of equipment; proper care, cleaning and storage of the equipment; and employee training.
OSHA requires employers and employees to know about workplace hazards involving chemicals. These materials pose a range of health hazards. Chemical hazards in grounds care operations include fuel, batteries, paints, pesticides, fertilizers and cleaning agents.
OSHA requires employers who use hazardous chemicals in workplaces to prepare and implement a written hazard-communications program, ensure all containers are labeled, give employees access to chemical information, and conduct effective training for potentially exposed employees.